Thursday, January 13, 2011

Kinda funny story

In thinking about that article I linked to on how to move to the country, I'm also thinking about "how to move to a small town." We did (and probably continue to do) many things wrong. Some of them were the result of being just generally clueless and not knowing how things work in a tiny town -- not realizing how interlinked everyone is in a tiny town, how one's actions have ripple effects through the other families and how one should ask before making a decision if it's likely to cause trouble for somebody else. Others were from being used to bigger city life, where things are more impersonal.

And some are unavoidable unless you are psychic. Here's an example:

Our house came with a lovely patch of very healthy rhubarb. I was overjoyed, as I love rhubarb. The first year, it came up and started putting out enthusiastic leaves and stalks and I was in rhubarb heaven. There was plenty to share, and I would have had no problem with anyone helping themselves.

I heard within a couple of weeks of Rhubarb Time that there was a lady in the neighborhood who was mad at me. Why on earth? I wasn't even sure who she was at the time. Turns out the lady who had owned our house before us had always let her come over and pick rhubarb, and we had not done so. Okayyyyy... I had not stopped anyone from picking my rhubarb, I had not turned anyone away who had asked. But I had not called this lady up and asked her to come over and pick my rhubarb.

So I picked her a big bag, took it to her house (once I figured out which house it was) and gave it to her, with the assurance that she was quite welcome to come over and get rhubarb any time it was growing. She graciously accepted the invitation and all was well.

So anyway, what I learned from this story was, be as generous as you can be, and stay humble. It's not easy to apologize for stuff you didn't think you did wrong in the first place, but it helps smooth things over, for sure.


Mrs. Mac said...

Good lesson .. and everyone knows your business and what mischief your kids have been up to .. but wouldn't change small town living or country living for big city living EVER!

Catherine said...

So true. And I agree with Mrs. Mac. Our experience has been the same.